The Perforated Edges of Misery

Remember when we only had perforated-edged paper for printers? I do.  The sound that thing made as it etched line-by-line the often light and amateruish print was something, wasn’t it?  As slow as it was, there was something comforting about the time it took to print; it allowed you to marinate in the content. 

I blog.  I Twitter.  I Facebook.  I email.  I read.  I even write manuscripts, digitally.  From my fingers to your eyes, cutting out the machine of print. Drafting and soundboaring gained, but the lingering of it all was lost.  In my day-to-day browsing of information, a lot is messaged about reading becoming a nostalgic school of thought. I’m more worried about the perforated edges of my own writing and once the holes in it leave, how much of my own world will forget to marinate in what it all means.

In Misery (Stephen King), the main character, who happens to be a famous writer named Paul Sheldon, has his rituals upon completion of a novel.  Beside him as he writes on his Royal typewriter (I have the same one, nostaglic me) is a stack of papers with indented print covering the pages  With the last punch of the key, he rips the paper from the cylinder and stacks it in completion.  Success deserves reward, after all writing a book is even more difficult than getting rid of the muffin top – nearly impossible for most.  For Paul Sheldon, it’s not just the Dom Perignon and cigarette.  No, it’s about the ritual of it all – a glass of champagne for the celebration and the match to light the cigarette as a treat (much like a cigarette after sex) for all the hard work.  Since he quit smoking, it also serves as his guilty pleasure – a celebration in itself.  Without ruining the story for those of you that didn’t read it or see the movie, go do so now so that you know how important this ritual ended up being in the outcome….especially the smallest of it all – the match.  The point is that all of the above elements of success symbolize much more than a completed manuscript to placed into a ratty leather bag, – which also holds equal sentiment.   

It’s this very aesthetic of the writer that is art.  The  aesthetic – the essence of the work – is the sauce with which the content marinates. 

I may upgrade printers, but I’ll always hold on to the perforated edges of my writing. 

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Corporate Buzzwords Must Be Nimble.

Being in a meeting for a media company is a lot like using trending topics on Twitter, you find the buzz word or phrase and you play into it until it’s grown into the company tag cloud.  The moment of discovery, when you hear a phrase like ‘low hanging fruit’ and you’re fairly certain it doesn’t mean the meeting will be catered.

Low Hanging Fruit: Easy to access or obtain

Sometimes it takes a couple of meetings before it becomes a game changer, and immediately you shepherd the word/phrase into the real time corporate vernacular by saying it yourself in other meetings, even going as far as adding it into your presentations until you pass the baton onto others.

Last quarter, it was ‘nimble’ and the wordsmith in me cringed as it rolled off the tongues of nearly every single executive at work.  Not only is it just an ugly word, but I also associate it with the nursery rhyme and stopped paying attention because I was too busy singing “Jack Be Nimble, Jack Be Quick, Jack jump over the candlestick” –  nimble, it did the opposite even though our department was in fact nimble.  Thankfully, it didn’t make it into our mission statement.

This quarter I have decided to re-purpose a corporate buzz word, yep, going to use the spray and pray approach in meetings, presentations, and take a step back as it uptiers into a corporate buzzword.

Writing is wasted on the young.

Plenty of things are going on even if I fail to update my blog.  A co-worker and I were in the elevator and our entire seven-floor ride consisted of connections through social networks.  I knew he DJ’ed through another co-worker’s blog and we poked fun at an update of his that ‘I liked’ before he mentioned reading that (and I’m paraphrasing) people have a hard time blogging in more than 140 characters nowadays.  Wow!  Truth be told, he is absolutely correct, and I fall victim to this. 

I was thinking, just this morning before I ran into him, that I’m not really sure I remember what my penmanship looked like.  Naturally, I wrote out a list and it occurred to me that saying about ‘use it or lose it’ is so true; my penmanship had somehow morphed into some sort of shorthand.  I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to write a letter once a month so that at the end of the year (and potentially the end of a handwritten era) I could remember how I used to communicate with people.  How exciting.  It’s kind of like learning to write all over again and this time for the novelty of it and not because I have to.  I suppose it’s the same mind set, but of course on a smaller scale, of going back to college in your thirties; harder work but man it feels like you’re actually accomplishing something this time around rather than goofing off. 

That whole adage of ‘youth is wasted on the young’ really stands true except truly, writing is wasted on the young.  I no longer write without outlines and it’s becoming increasingly hard to hear myself think with popular music (yeah, strange I used to just write from stream of consciousness to Jeff Buckley and consider it genius–of course I was probably also writing stoned) playing in the background like I used to. 

You know, it’s all about going back to the basics but this time with more experience and knowledge that you got from doing it all wrong in the first place.  Radiohead – The Bends, come to me so I can write Chapter 4 in Book #2.   Don’t worry, tomorrow is Madonna’s Celebration album (Imma let myself finish but Madonna’s got 36 mo’fo hits on this thing) and that typically puts me in a conquer-the-world mood to write my query letters for book 1.

Alright, time is short and I ain’t that young.

Children of Twitter

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I leave you with my words of idiocy…

As your week winds down and perhaps you find yourself on my often-rushed blog may you laugh at my  idiocy (if you can call it that).

Fontana: We’re going crabbing this weekend on Long Island.

ME: OHHHH I want crabs!

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ME (to my analyst): I’m following you on Titter, oh wait…Twitter, sorry.

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ME (to my analyst holding a LEGIT BOX): Let me see your box.

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My analyst (after putting a whoopie cushion in my chair with the NICKELODEON logo): I got it from the closet.

ME: I want to go in the closet.

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I swear it’s NOT REAL sexual harassment.

Going Up Norde, eh?

We drove to Montreal, Quebec (Canada), for the UFC 97 fight card.  We were excited about seeing UFC superstar Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell during his pivotal fight (win = come back, loss = retirement) and the wife’s favorite, Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva.  We soon found out, after crossing into Canada, that our high school French was beyond rusty.  It didn’t take long for us to figure out basic French like that ‘Norde‘ meant ‘North’ after driving back toward the U.S. border.

Shortly after getting back on track, we started passing cars left and right following the speed limit (Max. 100, Min. 60) before the light bulb went off.

“Ah, yes,” I realized.  “The metric system.”

I rarely speak in full sentences anymore since I am mostly only required to do such in 140 characters or less. The idea of a maximum and minimum speed limit was great, but I’d much rather it be mph rather than km due to time constraints.

Once we finally arrived at the hotel where parking was not included, our New Jersey tagged Honda pulled into a makeshift parking lot with only a French-speaking attendant.  After finally finding someone to translate, we paid $32 CAD in USD—overpayed.  We immediately found a currency exchange station.

We went to the Centre Bell for the UFC 97 Q&A with George St. Pierre and without a doubt I became a huge fan of GSP right then and there.  By the way ladies, he wears a size 11.5 shoe (just saying).

The Weigh-ins gave us a closer look (since we were in the 4th row) at the fighters and a sense of their personalities.  Not to mention, it was fascinating to see my wife–the most unaffected by celebrity person out there and the one person that just ‘doesn’t get’ celebrity gossip–starstruck by Dana White.  In some self-satisfying way, I wanted his autograph for myself to hang above my Life & Style collection in the bathroom (the same collection she rolls her eyes at my purchasing).

By the time we made it back to our glorified hotel room (pretty convinced it was really a hostel in disguise), we thought our experience couldn’t be topped until we watched The Simpson’s in French and could actually watch Music Videos 24/7 on Much Music.

Last but certainly not least (part II posted manana), in a true Twilight Zone moment we watched Ashton Kutcher and P Diddy on Larry King Live talking about Twitter. Ashton should win an Emmy for his acting as someone who has nothing to gain from the success of Twitter (I’m convinced he sat in too many Twitter board meetings and will see an investment on his return–his use of ‘content collaboration’ sounded all too familiar like I was in one of my MTV meetings).  I only have followers to gain–so follow me @alisaben05.

Merci Beaucoup, Canada!

Twitter!

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Digital Boom

Since I work in the Digital Space, I’m finding partnerships hitting the digisphere quicker than Demi & Ashton tweet.   Whether it’s Twitter w/ Microsoft or Google or YouTube w/ Universal Music, I’m pretty sure anyone in digital has on their poker face.  I tried to link the ‘YouTube w/ Universal Music’ but WordPress wouldn’t link it so I can only assume Universal has also restricted the rights on linking their name to any site that won’t be making them money like they are restricting Music Videos to those brands that in essence launched their bread & butter to the world.

Fun Fact:  Aug. 1st 1981, a newly formed cable network called MTV played the first Music Video, The Buggles ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ (Island Records–parent label is Universal Music Group).

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